Since reading Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple book, stories of Steve Jobs would inspire and intrigue me. When his autobiography was released, I consumed it from word to word. The beauty of the book is that it never explicitly calls out the qualities of Jobs but leaves a lot of impression on the readers. The one attribute of him that distinctly stood out for me was, he was an excellent editor.
He may not have created all the design himself, but he knew what he wanted. He was a visionary and would say more ‘Nos’ than ‘Yes’, to his team. He pushed them to the edge to get what he was looking for in a product.
As my editor shared the feedback on the first draft, I was happy to read her advice and comments. Her suggestions made me realise how important it is to have an editor who can get into the soul of your stories. At one places, she commented -“Your female readers will be left out”. It was a profound revelation for me. That also made me feel that an editor from the opposite gender could be a blessing for the book.
Can’t wait to reach the finishing line, yet there are few laps more to cover!
My grandfather taught me to greet the elders by touching their feet whenever I met them. A Namaste too would work many a time, but he would insist that there is no harm in giving additional respect. Though some of the rituals became modern with time.
If you shift abroad, knowing how to greet people could give a great start to your journey! Some cultures believe specifics.
In South Africa, you are expected to greet the locals explicitly in the office every day, as you see them. If you are going for lunch or tea, asking them is expected. Even in the daily walk of life, expressing greetings before getting into conversation works best, as if ‘declaring’ it! South Africans would respect you equally, if not less. They may take it as an offence if you do not greet them, though it may be unintentional!
Do you have any tale about greetings worth sharing?
Some relations does not require a day to express love. Yet, it gives an opportunity to express love explicitly. When you live abroad, celebrations like a Father’s day or a Mother’s day helps you to reiterate and let your parents know how much you care and value for them.
Though the geographical distance might have increased, the bond gets stronger like never before. I always sent a cake to my parents when I was in Singapore. It made them happy and created some beautiful memories though I was not in the frame!
The first corporate meeting I had was with a Canadian logistics client for a Consulting project. I had prepared well – the topics to cover, the processes to understand, my initial findings, and keeping it within the scheduled time. I stuck to the agenda and ensured that the time duration is productive for everyone. ‘Keeping it to-the-point and wrapping up early if possible’ are efficient business etiquettes, I was told then.
If you move to New Zealand with this expectation, you may get a cultural shock during the initial meetings! Brief small talks, an element of humour, sharing what you did over the last weekend is common depending on the familiarity of the attendees. The meetings are taken seriously and are as much productive; but the atmosphere in the meeting room is relaxed. You may require additional efforts to appreciate the culture and be participative; more so if it is your first exposure outside the country!
Have you encountered any cultural shock during business meetings away from home country?